Archive for October, 2010

The Best Thing About Joe Romm…

2010/10/28 4 comments

…is his ability to carry people over with him towards the realm of pure silliness.

Of course I still think that Gavin Schmidt should be considered as the best thing that ever happened to climate skeptics. But while Schmidt’s innate ability is to undermine his own arguments to no end (I am sure they guy would lose a debate about UFOs against an astrologer), Romm is becoming an inspiration for a great number of his followers to go along wherever he takes them.

There we have, for example, Tom Friedman’s obsession with praising Dick Cheney (!) and China (who cares about its treatment of journalists, when it’s investing in “clean energy”?). Yes, Friedman believes every word Romm says. Now however the game is reaching new heights, so to speak, with the most incredibly stupid rhetorical attack this side of Philipp II of Macedon threatening Sparta. The attack, that is, against solidly-warmist Scientific American for the one and only reason of having spoken about Judith Curry.

Romm takes a long long road around the problem, of course, but the main trouble (what? An article about Curry?) is never far…suffice it to say that the article’s own author, writing in Climate Central of all places, goes straight to the point, and tries to justify why he “wrote about Judith Curry” and if it is “irresponsible to discuss Curry’s views” (rather than deal with Romm’s empty complaints about online polls and the use of the IPCC AR4 report).

Lemonick keeps hammering on and on about his crystal-clear orthodoxy…of course, Curry’s “valid points” are “often points the climate-science community already agrees with”. And of course, “some of her other points are not very persuasive at all”. So for Lemonick, Judith Curry either talks trivial, or stupid. Tertium non datur. We’re back among miracles.

None of that will ever be enough now that Romm is on the case. And his believers: wonders about a “new barbarism” (cue the usual, trite conspiracy theory), whilst the FAIR blog denies there is any (any) “worthy argument” ever made by any climate skeptic (or Judith Curry). So for Jim Naureckas Scientific American did something pretty bad, as “skepticism” is “not a respectable scientific position” because everything the mainstream scientists do is right from day one, and everything the non-mainstream scientists do is wrong by definition. This will go into the miracles list as well.

I tell you, one day Romm or somebody in his coterie will come up with the equivalent of the GIA’s 1996 declaration that the whole of Algerian society (apart from a few people) were to be massacred as some kind of “fake Muslims”. Even Osama bin Laden could not stomach as much, and we only have to wait until even the most rabid AGWers will have their “Zouabri” moment and wake up to the only possible consequence of Romm’s scorched-earth policy: complete and absolute inaction about anything that is climate-related.

And that’s why Romm’s attack against Scientific American is so incredibly stupid.

Postcards From Climate Racism

2010/10/24 12 comments

There are 14 “photomontages imagining how London could be affected by climate change” in the web pages of the Daily Telegraph, at the “Postcards from the Future” website and “on display at the Museum of London“.

Images numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 seriously stink of racism (either in the picture, or in the accompanying text), with the Great Unwashed from the “equatorial belt” ruining a once-beautiful landscape (either themselves, their camels, or their rice).

The most awful picture is surely #3, about the Gherkin having “slid down the social scale” becoming “a potential slum” full of “refugees from equatorial lands“.

I guess “Postcards from the Future” could be a great idea if anybody wanted to get the openly-xenophobic British National Party on board of the AGW train.

AGW’s Logical Impossibility: The ‘Argument Ad Providentiam’

2010/10/20 20 comments

(slightly expanded version of this)

UPDATED with #9 from Dick K, plus #10, 11 and 12 (this inspired also by a blog by Steven Goddard)

UPDATED with #13. And #14.

UPDATED for the last time As the list keeps growing, it has now become a page on its own.

Only the most careful readers of my quasi-live blogging about President Vaclav Klaus’s GWPF Inaugural Annual Lecture in London on Oct 19 will have noticed a quick remark I wrote, inspired by what Pres. Klaus was saying at the moment: argument ad providentiam.

That’s a concept I have mentioned sometimes in the past in some part of the web, not under that name of course. Very briefly, it goes like this: philosophically speaking, an interpretation of the world is fallacious when it implies the existence of divine, or divine-like intervention.

And so for example, AGW is logically fallacious as it has providential undertones.

Why? Because for (catastrophic) AGW to be happening right now, several amazing coincidences must have recently happened:

  1. Relatively widespread availability of computer power just enough strong to simulate the right climate projections on a multi-decadal scale
  2. Climate science developed just beyond the minimal level needed to understand how to simulate the right climate projections on a decadal scale
  3. Novel statistical approaches devised just in time, and correct from the get-go, for Mann’s Hockey Stick to emerge from the jumble of dendro- and other proxy data
  4. Governmental willingness to co-operate together all over the world (after the end of the Cold War) just in time for a worldwide problem like AGW to happen
  5. AGW recognized as an issue just as heavily-populated places such as India and China start getting their living standards on track to reach the Western world’s
  6. Western Governments discovering that there’s no money to be made out of making poverty history, just when poverty is discovered to be caused by taxable carbon (*)
  7. Invention of satellites capable of photographing the poles, just at the moment they start to melt (*)
  8. Data homogenization adjustments invariably the more negative the older the data
  9. Suddenly, actions previously known to be good are now coincidentally necessary to fight climate change (**)
  10. Climate change materializes as a worldwide emergency to be solved by typically-leftist social order interventions, immediately after the Soviet Union collapses and Communism with it
  11. A great number of scientists of various repute goes ga-ga upon reaching pension age, and speak openly of their skepticism just because they’re too old to understand a thing
  12. AGW mechanisms are such that the vast majority of warming happens in remote, very cold places where there’s a dearth of actual data and people that would notice any change, and where changes are hard to tell anyway as average temps go from hyperfreezing cold to slighly-less-than-hyperfreezing-cold (***)
  13. As the world gets warmer, plenty of Bad Things proliferate whilst plenty of Good Things dwindle in number or occurrence
  14. Just like controlled nuclear fusion, AGW catastrophes are firmly placed decades in the future, often beyond the AGWer’s own lifetime

I am sure one could continue a lot longer.

So in a sense, belief in AGW implies belief in a highly-improbable series of lucky discoveries and developments to happen just at the right time. That is called “Providence” and it is strong evidence for the existence of a Divine Being. But since such “evidence” is a contradiction in terms, then for catastrophic AGW to be happening right now, that’s a logical impossibility.

(h/t Geoff Chambers (*), Dick K (**) for the suggestions, and Steven Goddard for the inspiration to number 12 (***))

Brit Psychiatrists Are Right: Here’s A Benefit Of A Low-Carbon Lifestyle

2010/10/19 5 comments

A low-carbon lifestyle could improve the mental health. Yeah? Yeah! A low-carbon lifestyle could improve the mental health…of people that are convinced that a low-carbon lifestyle is needed to save the planet.

Of course!

Professor Dinesh Bhugra, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists which represents 13,000 psychiatrists in the UK, highlighted the indisputable benefits of a low-carbon lifestyle to mental health. “Research shows a low-carbon lifestyle can improve mental health – which is why the RCPsych is proud to be playing its part in the 10:10 campaign,” he said. “People who engage in active, low-carbon activities, such as walking or cycling more often, are not only cutting emissions but keeping their bodies and minds healthy. For mild depression, physical activity can be as good as antidepressants or psychological treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy.”

(my emphasis)

Think now about all those poor souls, AGW believers through-and-through battered by news upon bad news for more than a year now (Climategate, Copenhagen’s abject failure, the IPCC-gates such as Amazongate and Hollandunderwatergate, 10:10 celebrating murder, Pachauri hanging on, Cancun forecasted as yet another failure,  and so on and so forth).

Mild depression? I think not!! OF COURSE the AGWers, they must be a bunch of quite depressed people.

Let them show us all without further ado, how to live a low-carbon lifestyle! For their own sake!!

ps I wonder what Prof Bhugra will do when low-carbon-lifestylers will turn up to be ever more depressed, having found out what kind of un-necessarily harsh living a low-carbon lifestyle is…

(H/T Alex Cull and hro001)

President Vaclav Klaus At The GWPF Inaugural Annual Lecture: Quasi-live Blogging

2010/10/19 16 comments

Since I couldn’t get enough connectivity in the conference hall tonight, here are my quasi-live notes about President Václav Klaus’ Inaugural Annual GWPF Lecture at The Great Room of Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce in London (UK):

(these notes are provided as they are, with very little corrections – I will post my own reflections later)

(UPDATE: see also Reuters)

(UPDATE: full text of the lecture at the GWPF website)

Atrocious weather getting worse…is Al Gore in town, by any chance?

Around 70 people. Klaus’ book free to all attendants.

I meet Rupert Wyndham of BBC’s Complaint Procedure fame

Packing up quickly. Many are diplomats, as I have later learned.

7:07 Lawson and Klaus

Peiser starts. There is a lectern this time and a microphone. Videorecording equipment.

Klaus introduced as political leader but also an intellectual, of the classical liberalism variety: individual liberty, limited government, freedom to dissent.

“couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate speaker”

Copenhagen failure, Climategate, IPCC debacle: change in the political atmosphere.

Pres Klaus has been calling for rational and freedom-loving people to respond to the threat posed by collective environmentalist hysteria.

Klaus’ accent sounds better than mine

Special thanks to Nigel Lawson. Large range of institutions that support those that doubt current-prevailing dogma. This is not enough. Bias, carefully-organised propaganda needs to be countered with rationality.

Cites Bob Carter. The issue is not the warming, but the “dangerous human-induced warming”. Scientific debate is not about the policy. Public-policy debate has enormous implications. Governments, politicians, lobbyists search to grab more decision power for themselves.

Response to climate change can become the most costly mistake in history after Communism.

Cites McKitrick. Nobody is an expert on global warming. Too many aspects. Every body is an amateur on many if not most topics.

There are many respectable but highly-conflicting scientific takes on the subject. We must resist the attempt to shut down the debate. Real risk is to end up renouncing democracy.

Need to separate environmentalist myths from theories.

Has followed the literature. Carbon dioxide is a minor player, not primary cause of global warming. Cites Nobel-laureate: carbon dioxide across geological scales. Planetary changes don’t ask for permission.

Dangerous public policy consequences: many have concluded the current hypothesis is very weak. Not sufficiently tested. Can’t be used for policy decisions without looking at alternatives, opportunity costs, etc.

That is why he wrote the book about “green shackles”. (humor: since you’ve all got it, no need to continue speaking). Published in 16 different languages including Japanese and Arabic.

A year after publication, “Appeal to Reason” by Nigel Lawson. Klaus wrote the the Czech edition.

We are not on the winning side yet, but looking back since the launching of the AGW propaganda at the Rio Summit in 1992 and subsequent general pickup of the hypothesis, things have been improving.

Reputation of the scientific integrity of some of the most prominent researchers has been undermined, eg the Hockey Stick that was the basis of the 2001 IPCC report: pseudoscientific mindset, faulty data selection, frenzied propaganda, unscrupulous campaign, dubious statistics, etc etc (it’s a citation)

Copenhagen 2009 showed heterogeneity of views,

Three simple facts GW armies should keep in mind

1- Global mean climate does change, has changed, and will undoubtedly change

Over last 10k years, climate has been much the same and average temperature has not changed. Long-term, slight cooling.
GW armies are presenting a few decades as a threat to the planet to respond to with a wholesale change of our lifestyles.

Why are they so successful? Doctrines usually take much longer. Specifics of our time? Constanlty online? Religions less attractive? Desire to refill the emptiness with a new noble cause, saving the planet?

Environmentalists discovered some “more noble” than our down-to-earth lives. Can’t be accepted by somebody that lived under “noble” communism.

2- Medium-term timescales, 150 years (joke about Keynes), temperatures have shown a warming.

This is since the Northern Hemisphere emerged from the LIA two centuries ago. Trend was repeatedly interrupted.

Warming is modest and everything suggests future warming and consequences are not a cause for concern and something to battle against.

3- CO2 in atmosphere sometimes precedes, sometimes follows temp increases. Not fully understood.

No need to dispute those facts. Dispute is when people claim the coincidence in time is a “proof” of AGW. This is the current doctrine. This has existed for centuries, always with nature as the “starting point” to go back to. People are considered a foreign element. But it makes no sense to speak of a world without people, because there would be nobody to speak to (laughter).

Mentions his studies of econometric modelling. No conclusion can be based on correlation of two or more time sequences. So simple correlations do not exist.

Eg CO2 emissions did not start to grow visibly until 1940s. Temperatures at times moved in the opposite way of CO2.

Statistical analysis doesn’t demonstrate anything. Two Chinese scientists used random walk model for global temp variations. Result shows the model perfectly fits the data. No need to add human effects. No other model has given a btter fit.

There are other aspects of the doctrine, not just the simple relationship between temps and CO2. Another is the idea that increasing temperatures will be detrimental to the planet.

Many environmentalists don’t want to save man, but nature. Economics for them is irrelevant. For example the Stern review and its unreasonably low discount rate (that was what prompted Klaus to join the debate). The choice of discount rate is critical (cites Lawson). High discount rate=little meaning in any intervention.

We should use the market rate, as it is the “opportunity cost” of climate mitigation. Stern and others do not want to do that.

Klaus doesn’t deny increasing temps will see losers and winners. Even if overall is going to be detrimental, with proper discount rates the consequences are too small to worry about.

Why do many people think differently? Many have invested too much in GW alarmism. Fear of losing out on the political and professional side. Biz people hoped to make a fortune and are not ready to write it off. There is a coalition of powerful special interests endangering us. (hence the subtitle of his book.

We need to stand up against all attempts to undermine our democratic society.

We need to be prepared to all kinds of future climate changes but never accept to lose our freedom

ends at 19″43

room is packed. >100

there is a video being taken

Peter Glover: Arctic forum. No engagement at all on the two sides. The “other side” never seems to have thought things through logically.

Klaus: Many scientists are engaged Journalist in The Times keeps receiving articles and books about the dogma. The fact that the other side doesn’t listen is not new to people that lived under Communism.

Q: Roll back the ETS in Europe?

Klaus: Cap-and-trade is one of the policy measures in the hands of the environmentalists. It’s not just the USA staying away from it. But the EU is post-democratic (laughter)

Hartwell (metallurgic engineer): Presentation is political. Royal Society published paper on climate change. Many scientists there are seriously interested. We should manage the risk of future rises in temperatures

Klaus: Not impressed by science established by committee or vote. Remember nobody is an expert in GW. Another quote from Bob Carter: wide range of disciplines among “climate” scientists. Most alarm from scientists from meteor and computer modelling. Geologists see no cause for alarm.

(argument ad providentiam)

Klaus says he has used computer models too. Computer modellers are not climatologists.

Q: Ecological modernisation used by many groups to look for environmental problems to push for technology. Amount of money in the academic community is very strong. WG-III is real push for IPCC.

Klaus: can’t understand sustainable development. Environment should be differentiated from GW.

Physicist: Comment on RS. Previous head didn’t’ give space to “deniers”. current document requires further revision. Draft Copenhagen agreement deals with putting together a world government (57? 58?). Why didn’t you use that?

Klaus: Only retirees dare write against AGW. COP-15 was so confused there was no point to go there. Details impossible to follow and not relevant. Documents have no writers and no readers

Q: Bloggers have changed the nature of the debate

Lawson: Yes. Extremely-expensive decisions should not be taken without a proper debate and there hasn’t been one. The RS has been obliged to move a little bit, not much, but more than nothing. Even the BBC says dissenting voice ought to be heard.

My questions

What would convince Pres Klaus that there is something to worry about? What would he choose, climate disruption or liberty?

Klaus: Empirical evidence is what is needed. Starting point still remains. Quality of measurements for example is important. Models are not convincing, too many mistakes in the methodologies, statistics, I am not convinced

Philosopher: The psychological side. Green lobbyists want to have cars and dirty industries banned. They found the scientific reason in AGW. Political agenda feeds on fear.

Klaus: One reason for scaring us disproved, another one pops up. My interests at the beginning of the 1970a. Could get only economical reviews and scientific publications. Couldn’t understand Club of Rome and Limits to Growth. That’s total nonsense. Same computer modellers of LtG continued with AGW. Same people.

Q: AGWers are organised by somebody?
Piers Corbyn: Prepare for extreme events…ask the UN to do that?

Klaus: Anybody controlling? People that have outlived communism are oversensitive regarding the issue of getting controlled

Q: Oxford Union debate, victory. Other side went for ad-homs. Wind farms are completely useless and evidence is transparent. How do rational politicians live with that knowledge?

Klaus`; Times journo asked if other leading politicians are against AGW? Many have similar views but are afraid to say it openly. Anecdote. Some nonsense is very evident. Solar energy during the night. Wind farm generation by electrical motors.

Lawson concludes. Mentions Klaus’ bravery as he is still in office.

end at 20:29


Revisiting The 10/10/10 Global Work Party – An Unmitigated Disaster

2010/10/19 13 comments

Deep (Climate) Abstrusity

2010/10/18 2 comments

Copygate” must be the most abstruse story that has ever come out of the climate debate (and it’s getting worse). If Wegman is hanged, drawn and quartered, or elevated to sainthood, by George Mason University, nothing at all will change about anybody’s understanding of climate change. No-thing.

Anyway…I am joining late to the party but…didn’t Bradley read the Wegman report, when it came out? Would have been foolish if he didn’t, as he was a subject to the inquiry (p. 64: “What is the current scientific consensus on the conclusions reached by Drs. Mann, Bradley and Hughes“).

On the other hand, if Bradley did read Wegman, how did Bradley manage to fail to spot the plagiarism for so many years?

I surely can spot “my” writing style with no problem. Is Bradley aware of, can he recollect his own writing?

Has Bradley actually written the plagiarized text himself?

The Meaning Of ‘Climate Consensus’, In A Single Picture

2010/10/18 2 comments

Here’s how one can understand what has been happening to mainstream climate science during the last few decades: far from a reasonable attempt to figure out the whys and whats of the Earth’s climate, it’s mostly been a blind pursuit of the latest data, and especially of the ENSO index.

Three ages of scientific consensus on climate change

What climate scientists have been agreeing upon

You can read more at “Is Climatology A Thing Of The Past?“, now updated to be independent from Tamino’s opinions:

In a world they believed was cooling, climatologists found ways to explain why it was cooling. In a world they believe is warming, climatologists find ways to explain why it is warming. The fact that those beliefs are based on scientific data and theories means nothing more than current and past climate science have been scientifically feeling their ways through a very obscure dark. No sign any of us is any the wiser.

ps H/T to Steven Goddard for the ENSO graph (btw…by looking at it, I had one of my extremely rare expletive-laden moments).

Hammer, Sickle, And Geoengineering

(many thanks to FM for inspiring this)

Good old Karl Marx had a saying in lots of things, and of course it is possible to find some reference about climate change too. Interestingly, it’s not necessarily what one would expect.

This is an extract from a 1868 letter to Engels:

Very interesting is the book by Fraas (1847): Klima und Pflanzenwelt in der Zeit, eine Geschichte beider, namely as proving that climate and flora change in historical times. He is a Darwinist before Darwin, and admits even the species developing in historical times. But he is at the same time agronomist. He claims that with cultivation — depending on its degree — the ‘moisture’ so beloved by the peasants gets lost (hence also the plants migrate from south to north), and finally steppe formation occurs. The first effect of cultivation is useful, but finally devastating through deforestation, etc. This man is both a thoroughly learned philologist (he has written books in Greek) and a chemist, agronomist, etc. The conclusion is that cultivation — when it proceeds in natural growth and is not consciously controlled (as a bourgeois he naturally does not reach this point) — leaves deserts behind it, Persia, Mesopotamia, etc., Greece. So once again an unconscious socialist tendency!

What does it all mean? One could start by guessing that the reported “conclusion” (explicitly defined as beyond Fraas‘ own grasp) is that “cultivation“, like all human activities, must be “consciously controlled“. Otherwise, desertification (or any other form of disaster) will befall us. Cue State-controlled economy moving into Stalinism, or nowadays a multi-trillion-dollar global programme of action to change everybody’s way of living. All manifestations of the double hell on earth that science-led policy can be.

But let’s dig a bit deeper. The letter is mentioned in a review article of 2000, “Marx and the Metabolism between Humanity and Nature” by Peter Dickens, Journal of Critical Realism, Alethia 3.2 2000 pp 40-45:

[…] the key point here again is that Marx was trying to develop Darwin’s way of thinking. He was once more insisting that, as human beings work on nature to produce the things they need, they change themselves culturally as well as physically. […]

[…] Marx’s adoption of both Tremaux and Fraas in his attempt to upgrade Darwin can now be seen as problematic in a number of ways. More positively, however, it can be seen as a precursor to those current versions of Darwinism and evolutionary thought which emphasise not only the organism but its reciprocal interactions with its environment (Lewontin 1982, Dickens 2000). People finish up making themselves in making their environment. Similarly, the environment is indeed actively made and is not, as Malthus argued, an eternally fixed and morality-enhancing quantity. […]

In other words, a population changes its environment changes a population. This is obviously completely opposite to conservation-fixated contemporary environmentalism. Alas, that’s not what surfaced when Engels moved in on the topic:

[…] Main evidence that civilisation is an antagonistic process which in its hitherto existing form exhausts the land, turns forest into desert, makes the earth unfruitful for its original products and worsens the climate. Steppe lands and increased warmth and dryness of the climate are the consequences of culture. In Germany and Italy it is 5-6°C warmer than at the time of the forests […]

Where is this coming from then? Once again, the underlying mantra appears to be the belief that human reason would eventually come up with enough an understanding of the world as to be able to master it one way or another. Engels again:

at every step we are reminded that we by no means rule over nature like a conqueror over a foreign people, like someone standing outside nature – but that we, with flesh, blood and brain, belong to nature, and exist in its midst, and that all our mastery of it consists in the fact that we have the advantage over all other creatures of being able to learn its laws and apply them correctly

Hammer, sickle, and geoengineering indeed.

Dear (Canned) BBC…

2010/10/12 1 comment

From: Maurizio Morabito
Date: Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 12:23 AM
Subject: Re: BBC Complaints – Case number CAS-327440-R2KY4P
To: “” <>

Dear Mark

Thank you for replying.

You have completely misunderstood what my complaint was about. Actually, I do not think you have read a single word of it, and most likely yours is just a canned reply.

In the faint hope you are (still?) a human being, and not some computerised automated answering system, let me simply say that you have said not a peep on how to justify a third of an article about the Royal Society being devoted instead to Bob Ward’s views about the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

And _that_ was what my complaint was and still is about.


On Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 3:14 PM,
<> wrote:
> Dear Mr Morabito
> Reference CAS-327440
> Thanks for contacting the BBC.
> I’m sorry to read from your email that you felt there was some bias in an
> article by our science correspondent, Pallab Ghosh on the BBC website. I
> note that you felt the opinions of Bob Ward were irrelevant and that the
> article is biased towards him.
> The BBC is committed to impartial and balanced coverage when it comes to
> this issue.
> There is broad scientific agreement on the issue of climate change and we
> reflect this accordingly; however, we do aim to ensure that we also offer
> time to the dissenting voices.
> Flagship BBC programmes and articles on our website have all included
> contributions from those who challenge the general scientific consensus
> recently and we will continue to offer time to such views on occasion.
> We’re guided by the feedback that we receive and to that end I’d like to
> assure you that I’ve registered your complaint on our audience log. This is
> a daily report of audience feedback that’s circulated to many BBC staff,
> including members of the BBC Executive Board, programme makers, channel
> controllers and other senior managers.
> The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape
> decisions about future programming and content.
> Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
> Kind Regards
> Mark XXXXX
> BBC Complaints

Is This The Face Of Evil At The BBC?

2010/10/11 1 comment


He Who Questions Science

He Who Questions Science


Mukul Devichand…try to remember this name (well, it helps if you’re Indian, Welsh, or both)…why? Because Mr Devichand’s “The Spirit Level: the theory of everything?” programme on Radio4 tonight has surely been the most shocking BBC documentary since Oct 18, 1922.

You see, Mukul “Scourge of Science” Devichand HAS QUESTIONED A COUPLE OF SCIENTISTS’ THEORY.

The shock! The horror!

Yes, you’ve read it correctly. Rather than recording the usual regurgitated press release in order to reaffirm how any scientist that happens to be near a microphone is always right and always will be, Mr Devichand has done his job, what should be the normal job for every self-respecting journalist at the BBC and elsewhere: he has put forward interesting, probing, challenging questions to the scientists at hand, making sure the listeners understood the limits of the proposed theory, and going as far as to suggest some of the criticisms could be warranted.

Have you ever heard of a more evil person? (yes, I have)

The programme had no qualms in discussing the policy implications of the proposed theory, and didn’t try to paint opponents as anti-Science people. Finally, there was an open admission that (esp. in matters of public policy) things will always be interpreted according to one’s “heart”.


If only.

Just think, how many Jos Abbesses are out there, lurking in wait of another chance to metaphorically beat a BBC employee to submission at the first sign of doubt

Revealed: The Global Warmer’s Secret Emergency Procedures

2010/10/10 3 comments

Toles and Michael Tobis agonize over the inability of American politics to do anything of substance about global warming. Too bad, isn’t it, that the actual practice of people that profess belief in upcoming climate catastrophes, has been following a madman’s emergency plan, hereby revealed:

  1. Make sure at every step and in every occasion that each and everybody showing any interest in the topic agrees with you completely and down to the last comma and exclamation mark
  2. Transform as many people as possible into enemies. Whenever feasible, throw insults to anybody asking any kind of question
  3. Inoculate vast numbers of people with fear, by talking about the need for a complete revolution of the whole humankind and its society
  4. Expect salvation from unlikely international agreements based on promises of many trillions of dollars, despite decades of experience with simpler agreements costing far less have consistently failed to deliver
  5. Organize practical climate-defence actions that everybody will understand are devoid of any serious effect, just for showing off. Focus on convincing people via impressive dance shows and uplifting public readings
  6. Hide the scientific data from people not belonging to the “right” network, in spite of all laws, regulations and established scientific practice
  7. Concentrate your efforts in fighting absurd worldwide conspiracies involving tens of thousands or perhaps even millions of people, all in the payrolls of Exxon and the Koch brothers, as if Shell and all the European oil and energy companies were angelic at heart.

Against Preventive Justice

2010/10/08 12 comments

The best thing that has come out so far from Splattergate is that (embarrassing self-absorbed conspiracy-obsessed holier-than-thou Italian University professors aside) at least some AGW believers are waking up to the PR and dictatorial horrors lurking within the “environmental” movement. Look at Revkin’s onetwo thrashing of 10:10, for example:

Personally, I’ve got to agree with a critique offered by a YouTube account holder who was one of many who took up the 10:10 invitation to download and repost the video — in this case with the environmental group’s “apology” superimposed on the imagery: If the same kind of video had been made about blowing up atheists, agnostics, christians, jews, muslims, whites, blacks, asians, homosexuals, left-wingers or right-wingers, it would have been met with understandable disgust; this video is a shameful display of DOUBLE STANDARDS.

And now there is also Tom Yulsman of the Center for Environment Journalism’s CE Journal: at first, wondering about “with friends like this, who needs enemies?” and then struggling to deal with a Steve Bloom ready to compare mass murderers and terrorists to climate change skeptics (one suspects, this category includes anybody not fully and precisely agreeing with whatever strain of climate catastrophism Mr Bloom adheres to).

I can’t fault Mr Yulsman really (apparently, his pivotal moment has been the realization that a good friend of his, however skeptical of future climate catastrophes, can’t possibly be an Osama bin Laden in disguise). Actually, I do not believe that it could ever be possible to respond to the likes of Mr Bloom, given the fact that he assumes that people in the present should bear culpability about “future large-scale death of people“.

Those deaths haven’t happened, but I guess it doesn’t matter, does it. It is also a well-known pinnacle of hubris to consider any future as if it had already happened (“forecasting is difficult, especially about the future“), but surely that doesn’t matter either. Preventive justice is a horrible nightmare of untold numbers of perfectly-honest people made to suffer at the mere hint of a risk, but hey, if one thinks about climate policy failures all day long, that’s (alas!) the final solution.

And so…radio has greatly helped in the Rwandan genocide, so let’s find a way to go back in time and put Marconi and Hertz in jail. Likewise for Messrs Benz and Diesel, the Wright Brothers, James Watt, etc etc. Come to think, with the incredible number of wars fought in the name of Christianity, Jesus’ turn on the cross must have been exactly the sort of punishment favored by Mr Bloom’s “descendants’ justice“.

How To Laugh About The 10:10 Children-Killing Movie (plus: About British Humor)

2010/10/05 19 comments

Five ways to laugh about the 10:10 disastrous movie despite its exploding children:

  1. Commenter Alvaro on Italian climate change non-believer website Climatemonitor: “After Mein Kampf, Mein Klima
  2. Andy Revkin at Dot Earth: “Blood spatter aside, ‘No Pressure’ proves, beyond a doubt, that we really are living in the age of stupid.
  3. Marc Roberts’ “Oh Frank. Not YOU too?!
  4. JunkkMale at JoNova‘s: “If the energy from the backpedalling could be harnessed, the world energy crisis would be solved
  5. “The Rage of Stupid” by Josh at WUWT

There are some idiotic comments out there about people not being able to “get the British humor”. That’s just a childish rhetorical ploy that reminds me of what leftist unfunny comedians claimed in Italy in the 1970s about their awful results (“it’s political satire”).

In truth, the Brits do have a curious, at times extremely cruel sense of humor, as anybody that has read “Tadpole’s Promise” can testify (story of tadpole-loves-caterpillar ends with frog-eats-butterfly-while-wondering-where-caterpillar-is). One can find in there all characteristics of good humor, with the ending completely giving a new meaning to everything that has been said in the story before BUT the only way to laugh is to remain completely detached from the frog, and from the butterfly. If either or both of them inspires you pity, there is no “humor”, for the simple reason that the story is final and tragic for both of them: there is no way back.

Compare that to the obviously-even-if-mysteriously-still-alive Mr Creosote, perhaps the movie scene most resembling the 10:10 exploding childen:

Talking about which, it’s exactly because there was always a way back, that Blackadder for example was so humorous. No matter how big the cruelty against Baldrick, no matter how disastrous the situation for Rowan Atkinson’s character, you’d always know they would be back, unchanged, in next episode. In fact, there was nothing funny at all in the very last scene of the main series, with all the long-standing characters leaving the trenches of WWI together, destined to certain death. (And yes, Frank in Mark Roberts’ comic strip is alive after his head explodes. QED)

Going back to the 10:Stupid:10 video, it is particularly difficult to find any humor also because the people that are not exploded, they do show surprise, fear, disgust. Perhaps, just perhaps, it might have looked like a spoof if they had been shown as reacting not at all to the disappearance of their friends and colleagues. We will never know.

Now, if I see anybody campaigning for 10:10, I will quietly ask them to disband and please vanish into thing air. No pressure.

ps I know, I know, it’s scientifically inaccurate in the extreme

Help Save Five Hundred Years Of Weather Observations

2010/10/04 8 comments
Collegio Romano in the 19th Century

Collegio Romano in the 19th Century

The prestigious collection of hundreds of years of weather observations, historical books and meteorological instruments from the Collegio Romano in Rome is at risk of being dispersed for good. Please sign the appeal to prevent such a disaster: (in the signature section: “Nome”=First name; “Cognome”=Family name; “richiesto”=Mandatory field)


A few days ago I have received the following letter via e-mail (translated and adapted in English from the original in Italian):

Dear friends,

It is with great sadness that I am forwarding the attached letter – press release by the staff at the Research Unit for Applied Meteorology and Climatology in Agriculture (in Italian: CRA-CMA), the direct descendant of the first Italian National Weather Station inaugurated in 1876 and headquartered at the Collegio Romano from 1879 (in an area previously occupied by the Meteorological Observatory built in 1782 by Abbot Giuseppe Calandrelli (the first to apply gravitational theory to cometary atmospheres)). I hope that those who have taken this decision will go back on it, at least reconsider this meteorological site, by declaring its historical importance for Italian meteorology. That would mean leaving untouched its Library, Historical Archives and the Museum of Ancient Meteorological and Seismographic Instruments, as well as the historic Calandrelli Observatory. The Library is at present unique in Italy, after the closure, in the 1990s, of the Air Force Weather Service Library.

Calandrelli Observatory

Calandrelli Observatory

The accompanying “press release” says the threatened closure is due to forced savings at the CRA, even if those same savings are pretty much doubtful (premises are free of rent, and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has pledged to pay all CRA-CMA costs).

Signatures against the disappearance of the historical collections of CRA-CMA are being collected since Oct 2, but the hoped-for 5,000-signatory target is still far away. There is also a Facebook group (in Italian) where to show one’s support.

More details about CRA-CMA from the “press release”: the library, known as “Central Italian Meteorological Library”, boasts more than 40,000 rare and valuable Italian and foreign texts of meteorology and geophysics, some dating back to the 1500s; the area has played host to famous scientists who have made the history of meteorology (Galileo Galilei, Father Angelo Secchi, Enrico Fermi). There is also a collection of highly-valued rare and prestigious historical seismographic and meteorological instruments.

CRA-CMA still manages a network of weather stations located throughout the country. The historical archive of weather data is of unique importance (with six million data points for each observed weather variable) and is one of the few in the world with multi-centennial meteorological and climate data series. “Such data are key for the undertaking of climate studies aimed at land use, agrometeorology, renewable energy sources and energy saving. “To this day, CRA-CMA’s Rome Meteorological Observatory’s unbroken series of centuries of weather reporting remains of paramount importance for the study of climate changes in the city“.

As it happens, CRA-CMA’s Curator Dr Franca Mangianti is no rabid AGWer (time will tell if that’s got anything to do with the threatened closure):

Q: You take care of more than a century of continuous weather observations, recorded year after year in the “bulletins”. What can you tell us about climate change? Are we really going towards a catastrophe?

A: Actually, regarding the “global warming” issues, our data tell us that the temperature in Rome has increased 0.8C during a hundred years, i.e. less than a degree. That’s very little really. Historically Earth has seen long cold and warm periods (we are talking about years and sometimes centuries). Over the past twenty years, for example, we have experienced a warmer period and it is therefore quite normal that temperatures have slightly increased. This does not mean that temperatures will go up forever. Indeed, it is very likely that in a few years they will start going down again. Unfortunately a kind of excessive alarmism bases itself on the application of mathematical models to meteorological data, without including a proper analysis of the past. About rainfall, however, the last century has certainly seen a decrease. In Rome, it rains now far less than in the past and this better be considered before embarking into exaggerated alarms, for example, about future floods of the river Tiber. With rains like we get nowadays, and the protections built on Garibaldi’s inspiration, you can be sure that the Tiber in Rome will not overflow again.

An interesting article among the scientific literature that has come out of CRA-CMA:

M. Colacino and A. Lavagnini, Evidence of the urban heat island in Rome by climatological analyses, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Volume 31, Numbers 1-2, 87-97, DOI: 10.1007/BF02311344

The analysis of air temperature data covering a period of 12 years (1964-1975) in a meteorological station network situated in the low Tiber Valley, shows clearly the effect of the heat urban island due to the city of Rome. This effect occurs with different intensity according to the seasons and to minimum and maximum temperatures.

And lest anybody thinks Exxon and the Koch brothers have been busy taking over a meteorological station in Rome:

Andrea Toreti and Franco Desiato, Changes in temperature extremes over Italy in the last 44 years, International Journal of Climatology, Volume 28, Issue 6, pages 733–745, May 2008, DOI: 10.1002/joc.1576

Changes in temperature extremes over Italy from 1961 to 2004 were evaluated on the basis of minimum and maximum temperatures measured by 49 synoptic stations uniformly distributed over the country. A set of extreme temperature indices of the Commission for Climatology/Climate Variability and Predictability (CCl/CLIVAR) Working Group on Climate Change Detection was calculated and statistically analysed in order to detect the presence of trends and quantify the variations of the indices for different time periods. Most of the indices, averaged over all stations, show a cooling trend until the end of the 1970s followed by a more pronounced warming trend in the last 25 years. The net variation of the indices reflects an increase in the extremes of the temperature distribution. Among the most significant results, an average increase of 12.3 summer days and 12.4 tropical nights in the overall 44 years are estimated. No significant differences between northern, central and southern Italy are found for most indices, indicating that the trends originate from large-scale climate features; however, the largest increase of tropical nights is observed at coastal stations. Copyright © 2007 Royal Meteorological Society

Please do sign, and ask people to sign, the online petition to save CRA-CMA.

Part of the Library at Collegio Romano

Part of the Library at Collegio Romano

UPDATE: Here’s the English version of the online petition

The historical meteorological observatory of the Collegio Romano, in operation for 228 years, has been told to vacate its premises occupied from 1879. To this moment, nobody knows where it will be moved to, and worse, nobody knows what will be the future location of its Library, immense historical Archives and collection of old instruments, a priceless heritage cared for during more than two centuries by many great people with lots of passion.

The situation arises from research cuts put in place on September 27 by the CRA (Council for Research and Experimentation in Agriculture). One has to wonder how they could agree on such a decision, what the real reasons could be and how it is possible that a “Research Institute” could throw away a historical *research* archive built for over two centuries!

The closure of the observatory at the Collegio Romano is a barbaric act, against the history, culture and meteorological tradition of Rome and of Italy. The observatory is a precious piece of history that once pulled apart, will never recover.

There are further questions about the decision since, in the words of staff at the observatory, “the premises are rent-free and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has formally committed itself to support all operating expenses”. The Library, known as the Central Library of the Italian Meteorology, has been claimed as state property in 1998, and it is composed of more than 15,000 Italian and foreign, rare and valuable books of meteorology and geophysics, some dating back to the 1500s. It is also the main historical archvie for the meteorological and geophysics Italian studies in the modern age, and has been visited over the centuries by the likes of Galileo Galilei, Father Angelo Secchi, Enrico Fermi.

Alongside the books, there are many valuable weather and seismic instruments, showing the evolution of measurement systems in Italy. The historic weather archive – one of the few data series in the world covering several centuries – consists of over six million disaggregated data points for each weather variable.

The Bernacca Association, hoping to be joined in its efforts by other weather-related associations, is opposed to this decision. We want to save a priceless heritage that some “enlightened minds” are trying to squander.

Please insert your real name (Nome) and family name (Cognome), a valid email (it will be used to confirm your support) and choose any password of your liking. You can leave a Comment in the Commento box

Suddenly, Less Than A Week To Something Vaguely Sinister

2010/10/04 4 comments

Who would have thought, Eugenie Harvey’s motherly smile for 10:10 has all of a sudden rekindled memories of a different kind of child-carer, Matron Cofelia that is?

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